Willmott Dixon, the privately owned capital works, regeneration and support services company, reports on sustainable development progress in 2011.

Key points:
• 96% of all site waste diverted from landfill
• Relative carbon emissions (tonnes per £m) reduced 8.9% from 22.3 in 2010 to 20.3 in 2011
• Group Carbon Management Plan implemented to save £4m by 2014
• Average company car emissions now 128g CO2/km down from 135g CO2/km in 2010
• £2.2 million invested in management trainees and apprentices
• 35.5 average score under the Considerate Constructors Scheme, 13% above the industry average of 31
• Gold performance level in the Business in the Community (BITC) Corporate Responsibility index
• UK’s first BREEAM “Outstanding” rating for Healthcare project
• Appointed to build the UK’s first zero-carbon school “in use”

Willmott Dixon Support Services CEO Chris Durkin, board director responsible for sustainability, says, “Despite the tough market conditions, we made good progress in 2011 on our sustainable development ambitions.”

Four years ago we were diverting 70% of our site waste from landfill. Today that figure stands at 96% and we are committed to working towards sending zero waste to landfill. We are also making positive strides on our target of a 15% reduction in carbon emissions from 2010 to 2014.

“We have continued to make improvements on vehicle emissions too, where average emissions on company cars has reduced by 20% from 160g CO2/km four years ago to 128g CO2/km. Through the actions within our Carbon Management Plan, we forecast that our energy costs will be below £10m by 2014; without it, they would be nearer £15m.

“We’ve not been deflected from our sustainability goals by the challenge of an industry-wide fall in workload volumes. Being privately owned, we’ve a long-term commitment to achieving year-on-year improvement in our sustainable performance and expertise that short-term economic factors will not affect.

“Indeed 2011 saw a number of important policy developments and we have been working closely with the Government in the development of the Green Deal. Through this, we signed up as a Pioneer Green Deal Provider and also worked in partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council on the retrofit trial of private residential properties. We also created our new Energy Services business to deliver low carbon construction and retrofit projects.

“Our expertise was further recognised by a number of external bodies, including achieving the first BREEAM Healthcare “Outstanding” for Houghton Primary Care Centre and second place in NextGeneration’s benchmark of the top 25 homebuilders sustainability performance.”

The performance update is contained in Willmott Dixon’s 2011 Sustainable Development Review, available now on the website.

The review details how the company is driving excellence and knowledge in sustainability, with work starting on one of the largest residential Passivhaus schemes in the UK in Camden, as well as a zero carbon school in Islington that will share energy with a nearby housing estate.

Non-executive director Jonathon Porritt says, “Sustainable development is all about continuous improvement, and Willmott Dixon wants to lead in the construction and support services sectors, making significant further inroads to reduce landfill waste, cutting carbon emissions and helping clients achieve their ambitions for energy efficient, sustainable buildings.

“Ensuring the next generation of property is environmentally sound, as well as improving the current stock, is an absolute imperative. Our newly established Energy Service business gives added ‘fire power’ to Willmott Dixon’s ability to meet these challenges and create jobs in the ‘green’ economy. Our role as a Green Deal Pioneer is something that will deliver real benefits in years to come; both for the environment and in creating and sustaining skills during this tough economic cycle. By being at the forefront of new ways to deliver sustainable property, we’ll help our clients cope with the continuing rise in energy costs that both organisations and individuals are facing.”